Commissioning at SMC's

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Nick0726, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    So from what I understand, every member of the Corps of Cadets at an SMC has the opportunity to be active duty commissioned after they graduate?

    So that means at SMCs you do not need a scholarship to take ROTC your junior and senior years? And do not need to be under scholarship to commission?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    That's true of any ROTC program in the sense that you don't have to be on scholarship to commission. What you have to do is achieve what's called Advanced Standing (perhaps under somewhat different names for the different services) your rising junior year. You do not need to be on scholarship to commission anywhere, SMC or no. I doubt the SMCs are any different. I think the key to what you are discussing is that, for Army ROTC, some students do not get active duty but commission into the Reserves. I don't think this is required of an SMC cadet, but they can request it if they desire. I'd be surprised if the requirement to achieve Advanced Standing did not apply to the SMCs as well.

    I may have some nuances incorrect but I'm sure I got the fundamental gist right.
     
  3. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    I was thinking if I did not receive an NROTC-MO scholarship, but got accepted into an SMC, if I could still take four years of NROTC and commission.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Yes you can do so at an SMC (or at a regular ROTC unit). A scholarship is not required for a commission. As Kinnem points out- you need to be an advanced Status- at which point you will sign a contract, start drawing your stipend & attend summer training cruise after your 2d class (Junior) year.
     
  5. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I believe (and could be wrong) the opportunity for guaranteed active duty commissions at SMCs is only for AROTC:

    "The Secretary of the Army shall ensure that a graduate of a senior military college who desires to serve as a commissioned officer on active duty upon graduation from the college, who is medically and physically qualified for active duty, and who is recommended for such duty by the professor of military science at the college, shall be assigned to active duty."

    Though another advatantage of a SMC:

    Under both AR 145-1 and federal law, the ROTC programs at the senior military colleges are treated differently. Unlike ROTC at other schools, the Department of Defense is prohibited from closing or reducing the ROTC programs at an SMC, even during time of war (full or total mobilization).

    "The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may not take or authorize any action to terminate or reduce a unit of the Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at a senior military college unless the termination or reduction is specifically requested by the college"[3] and Army "[SMC] ROTC programs will continue at an accelerated rate as directed."
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to Norwichdad. This is only relevant to Army. For Navy (including Marines) and Air Force you can only commission to Active Duty. There is no option for the Reserves in these services.
     
  7. glen

    glen Member

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    Commissioning at SMCs

    NICK0728

    Here is the deal as I understand it for non-scholarship ROTC at an SMC:

    - At an SMC - if you are in the Corps of Cadets, you must enroll and pass 4 years of ROTC - but do not have to accept a military commission - and are not guaranteed a commission either.

    - As for guaranteed active duty - only the Army ROTC progam offers this to you. And this is only if you qualify for a commission - meaning you are medically qualified, have an acceptable grade point average - which may vary by major - satistactory completion of your summer encampment your (typically your Junior year) - and you are determined to be suitable for commissioning by your PMS. Upon commisisoning as an officer in the Army, you are guaranteed an active duty assignment - which of course is subject always to the needs of the service. This is my understanding of the guaranttee - read the fine print always.

    - Other branches determine their needs and your qualifications vs others seeking active duty. You can always request reserves. At The Citadel you can also enter the Coast Guard via the NROTC program.

    - One poster mentioned that the Secretary of the Army may not close an ROTC program at an SMC. However - based on the needs of the service, it may draft you into active duty at any time Selective Service is activited. And once you accept a 3 or 2 year scholarship, or sign a contract (tyically your Junior Year) - you are in the service my friend and subject to being called to active duty. (I still have my orders granting me an honorable discharge as a Pfc dated the day I was commissioned as a 2LT in the Army.) If you think either of these scenarios cannot happen - consider that in WWII the entire Senior Class (Class of 1942) at The Citadel was ordered to Fort Jackson and sworn into the Army and then returned to camput to pack their bags and prepare to ship out to officer basic training.
     
  8. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    DS did not receive an NROTC scholarship to VMI. He took/is still taking the Naval science classes with the NROTC detachment. He did not receive advanced standing from his commander due to GPA issues (inorganic chemistry..big ole F) topped with a distraction over his dad being ill thus he will not commission strait out of VMI into the Navy and chances of getting a slot into OCS is iffy at best. He needed a 2.5 last semester and had a 2.4 for that term. He will have a long road to commission even though he is bringing his grades up..expecting a 3.0 overall by the end of this term (chemistry maj). Budgets are tight and it is not an easy task and there are no guarantees. He was given options to possibly switch branches because his grades are at the accepted level in the other branches, but he is not interested in them so much. Along with considering the time involved in catching up with the MS requirements for the other branches, what that would do to graduating on time etc He is now weighing his options for continuing on for his masters or whether to continue taking Naval Science in hopes of OCS. There is also leadership classes that VMI has as an alternative for those that do not wish to commission. I can't speak on any other SMC's, but this has been my sons experience.
     
  9. hokiesfan

    hokiesfan Member

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    Not at VT. There is a completely separate program for cadets not in ROTC that has its own leadership classes, PT, etc. in place of what ROTC offers. Some cadets do all four years, others go that route if ROTC doesn't work out. Some will also start in that track and then switch to ROTC later, but that's not as common.
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    And additionally there are a lot of just plain old civilians at VT... in fact the vast majority of the school is not in the Corps of Cadets.
     
  11. glen

    glen Member

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    Commissioning at SMCs

    BJkuds - Good luck to your son in deciding on course post graduation from VMI. The OCS route is certainly an option. I don't know the requirements for the Navy. However, my son-in-law was in the Marine Corps Reserves while attending Penn State and not in the ROTC program. He graduated with a liberal arts degree and when 9/11 hit decided to put in for OCS - he graduated in fall of 2011 and is now a major on his way to LTC with just 8 years left to make his 20 years and an early retirement.

    He spent a 3 year stint as an instructor/CO at Quantico OCS and told me the Marines actually prefer to commission from OCS and train their officers from start - about 60% of those who enter the program graduate and are commissioned.

    So if a military career is what your son is interested in, OCS in the Marine Corps is a distinct option. Best of luck
     

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